The Fish
for 15 October 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
Suck Staff
 

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Producer

 

Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director

 

Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor

 

[]
Erin Coull
Production Manager

 

Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[Copy Edit]
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Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
 

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman
Co-Founder

 

Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch
Suckgineer

 

Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

 


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker

 

Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Smile, You Son of a Bitch

Sucksters:

Ohmigod ... tell us something
we don't know, like: Bambi
was a slut and Thumper a
remorseless assassin bent on
exterminating all the ugly,
slimy creatures in the
forest. It's obvious that
cuteness and fuzziness, not
to mention the ability to do
tricks, are traits that
ensure a long and blissful
existence for all of us;
especially if you're a girl.
Me and all my cute, fuzzy,
obedient girlfriends have
been riding that wave for
years sans regret and plan on
breeding heavily to
perpetuate these traits. And
hey, if I were as ugly and
smelly as a whale, I'd have
to be monogamous too. Even
those stuffed Shamus are
yucky.

Portia Kersten
<pk129@columbia.edu>

We like you.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: 101 Things to do
with a Cucumber

There is a tradition I have
been trying to keep with in
creating a Halloween costume
that in some way incorporates
a cucumber into the
design.... John Wayne
Bobbitt, horny toad, horny
little devil, salad, Pee Wee
Herman, etc.... However, I'm
getting to the end of my
imaginative rope. Help me out
with this cheap gag, and I
promise never to write to you
again. By the by, I read the
hell out of Suck.

Kerby Talbert
<dktalbert@facilicom.com>

You could go as Bambi. Bambi
was a slut, you know, and
sluts and cucumbers go
together like frogs and
beer.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I just spent a couple of
hours looking through your
last few Suck columns, and I
just wanted to take a second
to tell you I think you're
tremendously talented, and
thank you. You seem a little
bitter, though.... I hope
you're getting enough
vegetables and all.

Francisco Toro
<ft@total.net>

Oh, sure, we get enough
vegetables ... enough
cucumbers, at any rate.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Small Is Beautiful

Thank you for a link (the
last one in your piece, to
Rich Gieb's site) that was
amazing, for lack of a better
vocabulary. I don't know
whether you put in the link
just for the one page or in
hopes that the reader would
probe further into the site,
but I will assume the latter.

I am a relatively new, though
very regular (all right,
addicted), reader of Suck,
and am almost always
entertained by the cynicism.
Yeah, I find Suck
intelligent, well written,
and sometimes even
informative, but it is
usually the cynicism that I
notice most. Now I think I
have a new respect. A sign of
wisdom (in my opinion) is the
ability to put yourself in
perspective. Linking to
Richard Gieb's site
reinforced (what I think is)
Suck's basic message: to not
take urban cynicism too
seriously, no matter how
engaging it may be, cause
there are heavier and greater
things out there.

I had hoped my first letter
to you guys would be more
than a just a thank you
letter, but oh well. I'm too
tired to go into the pros
and cons of nanotechnology. I
will say this though: Our
current civilization (or a
large portion of it)
approaches the universe in an
adolescent way. We are either
amazed or scared. Either
eager to touch and play with
everything, to poke our heads
into everything we can, or
fearful of unknown boogeymen.
This is an exciting (in a
childlike wonderment kind of
way) time for us, but
hopefully one we will
eventually grow out of. Truly
great advances in science are
part empirical, part subtle
wisdom, and that gives me
hope. Think of the advances
in physics earlier this
century: relativity, quantum
mechanics, etc., and
something thrown in there
called the Uncertainty
Principle, a true bit of
universal wisdom (in my
humble opinion).

The progress of the scientist
happens in very small daily
increments, but the progress
of the people occurs when we
actually learn something from
the data that is applicable
to more than the collection
of more data. It is at those
times that we as the human
race grow a little bit older.

Sincerely, Arijit Das
<jit@squid.umd.edu>

The "childlike wonderment"
of science and the fear of
the unknown really are the
same thing I believe: the
sense of mystery that
Einstein felt was at the root
of intellectual inquiry. I
wouldn't argue that humanity
should not seek to understand
the workings of the universe,
but the question of whether
knowledge should be
translated into technology is
surprisingly difficult, an
ethical-rather than practical-
question. The point I
struggled to make was that if
we could justify building the
bomb, we can justify doing
anything, even if we're not
sure of the consequences. Of
course, people can argue
convincingly that the A-bomb
shortened the war or that
fire-bombing was actually
more destructive and cruel,
but that's strictly
hindsight. Fact is, even if
the physicists at Los Alamos
knew that a single bomb
wouldn't destroy the planet
(physics reassured them that
it wouldn't happen), all of
them knew that the bomb would
kill many people if it
worked, and they weren't sure
it would save anyone; some of
them almost certainly were
motivated more by curiosity
or hubris than patriotism.
Unfortunately, the lesson of
Los Alamos is often
perversely interpreted as
evidence that even the most
potentially destructive
technology will work out OK
in the end.

Thanks, Dilettante

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Smile, You Son of a Bitch

A quite ill-informed take on
natural selection. If a
predator is so effective, why
does it need preserving? If
people decide to preserve a
species, it certainly has
nothing to do with natural
selection "indicating"
anything. The only thing it
indicates is that we like to
have players in our "nature
shows" on the Discovery
Channel, as your piece goes
on to point out.

Charles
<charles@pry.com>

I frigging knew some strict
interpretationist would throw
The Origin of Species at me.
As the article stated, WE are
the ones who want to preserve
the predators, so they can
continue their "top-down
management" of the animal
kingdom. As for their not
needing preservation - the
grey wolf is generally
acknowledged to be an
effective predator, but when
he tangled with good old Homo
sapiens, we kicked his ass so
thoroughly that we now have
to do him the favor of
keeping him alive. The
survival of this predator
depends on the good graces of
human beings; and that's true
of pretty much all our animal
friends (except insects - the
true Lords of the Earth). In
any case, we're not serving
"Nature's" ends, but our own.

BarTel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Albright's refusal to hug
Arafat, which you call
evidence that "Arabs are
still Untouchables," most
likely has other motivations.
Arafat routinely calls for
jihads and mass slaughter of
Jews, praises suicide bombers
as martyrs, and his health
ministry distributes
pamphlets claiming that
Jewish doctors deliberately
spread AIDS. Arafat has made
it abundantly clear that he
sees the destruction of all
Jews as the best solution
(the PLO charter itself is
pretty clear on the subject).
While I wouldn't go so far as
to claim that Albright
identifies as a Jew, her
ancestry probably makes her a
Jew in Arafat's eyes.

Would you hug someone who you
knew wanted to kill you? Just
because Kissinger would,
doesn't mean Albright would.

Ben Delfin
<aramchek@interport.net>

So a CIA agent, a KGB agent,
and a Shin Bet agent are
taking a walk in the woods
when a rabbit runs across
their path and into the
trees. The KGB agent turns to
the other two:

"Observe, comrades - I will
catch rabbit in under 10
minutes!"

He runs off after the rabbit.
After 9 minutes and 59
seconds, he comes back,
holding the rabbit by the
ears.

"That's pretty good, my
Ruskie friend," says the CIA
agent, "but I'll catch that
rabbit in under 5
minutes!"

So they toss the rabbit back
into the trees. The rabbit
takes off, and the CIA agent
goes after it. Sure enough,
after 4 minutes and 59
seconds, he comes back
holding the rabbit by the
tale.

"This is fast?" says the Shin
Bet agent. "I'll catch that
rabbit in under 2 minutes."

So they do it again, the Shin
Bet agent takes off, and a
full half hour passes. The
other two are getting nervous
about their friend, and they
go off to see if they can
find him.

After a few minutes of
searching, they find their
friend in a clearing, with a
donkey tied to a tree. The
Shin Bet agent is punching
the donkey in the face and
screaming in its ear: "Admit
you're the rabbit! Admit
you're the rabbit
!

That's a Palestinian joke.

Yr Pal,

BarTel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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